Currently, Google does not offer a built-in social gaming network similar to Apple’s Game Center. Verizon and Playphone, it seems, is looking to remedy this by preloading Playphone’s “Games Portal” on millions of Android devices beginning in the second quarter of 2013.
Games Portal will function as an app store and social network, which is similar to Apple’s Game Center. Games Portal will be a standalone service independent from Google Play, which means developers will have to submit their titles to be put in the store.
Playphone has said that there are few benefits to this, such as direct carrier billing. App purchases and in-app purchases will be billed to the customer’s account with the carrier. Playphone also said that Verizon’s ”massive distribution network and marketing muscle” will get games more publicity.
Verizon will be preloading Games Portal on devices in the second quarter of 2013. If you think you lucked out having purchased a device before then, Verizon will be pushing Games Portal to existing device via a software update leaving no one behind.
As grueling as it sounds, due to the nature of Android, carriers are able to load up Android devices with all of the bloatware they want. Google can’t really stop carriers from preloading apps onto a device that is running open sourced software like Android.